Friday, December 22, 2006

Brilliant! Not.

After I'd spent some time looking over Time and the Soldier, trying to figure out what to cut and where to repaste it, and getting nowhere, I decided go back to the first page and start the tweaking and rewriting process, my hope being that that would refresh my overview of the whole thing and make any necessary restructuring clearer. So that's what I've been doing for the last few days, helped muchly by the fact that the Great Denver Blizzard of Ought Six forced my company to shut down for two days, and also by the company having closed at noon today. (It's now closed till Jan. 2.)

I remembered the first few chapters of the book -- the big chunk that I wrote initially, about 15 years ago, and had left untouched except for two short new sections I added recently -- as being brilliant. On rereading, I discover that, well, um, they're not. That's a disturbing revelation. So now I'm hoping that rewriting will make that chunk brilliant. After all, it has to match the parts I've written recently, which are, as I remember well, brilliant. I hope.

4 comments:

Chris said...

Hell, I spend half the time thinking what I wrote is brilliant, and the other half wondering whether I ate paint as a child. I suspect the truth of the matter (prose-wise, at least) is somewhere in between.

And fifteen years, eh? That gives me hope for my long-shelved novel...

David said...

Trying to be objective about it, I suppose I can't really say that the old stuff is bad and the new stuff is good. All I can say with certainty is that I write differently now and prefer my current style and feel that I have to redo the old material in my current writing style.

It would be interesting if I could travel back in time and show my current writing to my younger self, to see his reaction. He might not like it at all. He might even sneer, while nibbling on paint chips.

Hey, you bet. Any shelved novel is just that: shelved. It may be asleep and gathering dust, but it's not dead as long as you're still alive.

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